Top 10 Street Food Cities
POSTED BY Adam | July 30, 2014
Label: Bangkok Travel, New York City, Top 10s
Trying street food is a great way to save money in cities around the world. Plus, trying street food with the locals is a great way to assimilate into the local culture and really get a feel for the city you’re in. These ten cities offer mouth-watering street food that will please even the most discerning of palettes.
Bangkok (pictured above) is home to some delicious street food that’s easy on the wallet. Prices are extremely cheap by European standards – a bowl of noodles costs around 20Baht (about 20p!). Some popular street-food haunts include Boat Noodle Alley near the Victory Monument and Talat Phlu. The vendors in Boat Noodle Alley still serve noodles in tiny bowl, a practice that originated back when Bangkok relied upon an extensive network of canals.
Fried insects aren’t for everyone but adventurous types in Bangkok can grab a fried cricket, grasshopper or even scorpion at Wang Lang Market. Also try Jok – a traditional dish which consists of a comforting bowl of rice porridge sometimes served with minced pork balls and a raw egg.
The choice of ‘hawker food’ in Singapore is enormous, with noodles, rice based dishes, tofu and even frog porridge for the more adventurous. For a taste of traditional Singapore, the Bak Kut Teh (Meat Bone Tea) is a simple dish dating back to the country’s humble origins.
All levels of the social spectrum are known to dine out at one of this tiny country’s many food stalls. Street food in Singapore is hygiene graded, so even cautious travellers can relax and tuck in.
As you’d expect from such a multicultural melting pot of a city, New York’s street food is deliciously varied. New York City has over 4,000 street food vendors dotted around the city – particularly in Midtown Manhattan - selling cuisine from all around the world, as well as some American classics like hot dogs and pretzels.
There’s even a tour to guide you around The Big Apple’s tastiest spots – presumably this is done at a pretty slow pace to give all those hot dogs, pizza slices and pretzels time to settle.
The Japanese city of Fukuoka may not be a household name amongst UK tourists but its culinary charms are undeniable. Fukuoka’s street food is good enough to attract Japanese foodies as well as tourists – always a good sign!
The city’s street food hubs are known as Yatai and generally sit seven or eight people. The southern end of Nakasu Island is a good place to start a culinary journey in the city. Some popular dishes include: hot pot (oden), grilled chicken skewers (yakitori) and most famously Hakata Ramen, a local noodle dish featuring relatively thin ramen noodles in a pork bone based soup (tonkotsu).
The lively city of Marrakech is the gateway to the Atlas Mountains and to traditional Moroccan cuisine.
The bustling Djema al Fnaa Square really comes alive after dark. The breeze blows a concoction of aromas from the many numbered food stalls into the maze of adjoining alleyways. Chicken and beef skewers are fried on the square’s numerous barbeques, and there is freshly pressed orange juice to wash it down from the nearby stalls.
The Mexican capital's Sullivan Market is packed every weekend and is chock full of fantastic food stalls selling tacos, quesadillas and other Mexican favourites. At the market’s eastern end there are underground pits used to cooked pork and lamb used in the tacos.
Tlacoyos are another integral part of street food in the Mexican capital and also widely available in Sullivan Market. Tlacoyos are filled with requesón (a type of Mexican cheese similar to ricotta), fava beans or refried beans before being cooked. Toppings may include sour cream, onions, salsa or even sliced cactus.
Delhi’s Dilli Haart area is a veritable assault on the senses; a mix of powerful smells and technicolour craft stalls. It only dates back to 1994, but has already become a popular venue for sampling food from across India. There are seventeen distinct stalls in all, each representing a different Indian state. As such, it’s a good place to start for the uninitiated in Indian cuisine.
Chandni Chowk is often called the food capital of India and is famous for its savoury snacks known as chaat. For a more filling meal, the butter chicken is recommended. Those with a sweet tooth should try a Sohan Halwa Papdi, Pista Samosa or Badam Burfi.
Aside from the myriad of stalls selling kabaps and doners, another popular street food staple in Istanbul is borek – a flaky pastry that can contain spinach, cheese, minced meat and potato filling. In the colder winter months, expect to see roast chestnuts on sale, which changes to corn on the cob in the summer months.
There are plenty of cold snacks as well such as: simit and acma – two varieties of savoury roll.
Ho Chi Minh City
Vietnam's most populated city is a treasure trove of delicious street food. Head to Nguyen Thuong Hien Street (aka Snail Street) for some sea snails with coconut butter– these are sometimes served with safety pins, used to prise the snails from their shells. Rice paper rolls with various dipping sauces are also popular, as well as well-known rice-noodle soup known as Pho.
Most Vietnamese dishes are mild to begin and can be made spicier with the addition of chillies, so those with an aversion to spices can decide this in advance.
We have to mention our home city of London into our top 10. Eat Street near King’s Cross in north London is street food heaven seven days a week with food trucks serving diverse food from around the world.
Brixton Village covered market has tasty dishes from around the world and for those on larger budgets, London’s bustling South Bank provides a range of upmarket food carts with impressive views of the Thames. For a more traditional taste of London, head to the east end for some pie and mash, or even some jellied eels.
What's your favourite city for street food?